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Article: Analyzing Writing Tasks in Japanese High School English Textbooks: English I, II, and Writing

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Mayumi Kobayakawa


A quantitative comparative analysis of writing tasks in English I, II, and Writing textbooks was conducted in this study. Writing tasks in the textbooks were classified into four categories: controlled writing, guided writing, translation, and free writing; and 14 subcategories. The results of the analysis show that both English I and II textbooks featured mostly controlled writing tasks and fill-in-the-blank with translation tasks, while Writing textbooks included various translation and controlled writing tasks. Overall, guided writing and free writing tasks rarely appeared in the textbooks analyzed. According to the Japanese government’s (MEXT) course of study, writing instruction is generally related to free writing tasks. Therefore, free writing skills are necessary to develop students’ practical communication abilities as defined by MEXT. These findings suggest that teachers need to support the development of practical communication abilities by proactively increasing the free writing activities in English classes.




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